Goo Goo Dolls Biography
Review The Artist (13)
Aspire. Attain. Surpass.
The three words that aptly sum up the Goo Goo Dolls career to date- aspiration, attainment and the ability to surpass all expectations- are also the essential elements in the creation of Gutterflower, the trio's brilliant new offering on Warner Bros. Records, featuring their stunning new single "Here Is Gone."
"There's no way we could rest on our laurels," asserts vocalist and guitarist John Rzeznik on the collective mindset the band brought to the writing and recording of their fourth major label release. "No matter how successful we were going into this record, we all felt we were starting from scratch, as if we were making a record for the first time. Sure, you learn from experience, but the important thing is to keep it fresh, to stay alive to the possibilities and potential of the music. You can never take that for granted." So much for Aspiration. And, while it's true that success too often breeds complacency, for the Goo Goo Dolls it's only served to bring them closer to the fundamentals of their fifteen-year partnership. "We never really bought in to the whole rock star myth," John continues, before adding with a laugh, "Well, we might have 'rented in' for a weekend here and there, but in the end it always comes back to the music. For us, success - real success - is one song at a time."
That's the way it's always been for the Goo Goo Dolls. From their earliest days on the rough-and-tumble Northeast music scene through years of playing according to bassist Robby Takac - "every one night stand in American, twice," through their obligatory stint in the indie records realm, the band have combined an unerring instinct for original and authentic music with a hardcore work ethic that is nothing short of inspirational.
It was that mix of talent and sweat equity that paid off with the 1998 release of Dizzy Up The Girl, a breakthrough in every sense of the word, with worldwide sales approaching six million and counting and a string of smash singles including the epochal "Iris," as well as "Slide," "Black Balloon" and the title track. Together, Dizzy's hits have racked up an historic one million radio spins to date. Two solid years of international touring followed the album's release and, while the band and its fans could be forgiven for concluding that the Goo Goo Dolls had finally "arrived," it was that restless urge to turn the next creative corner that kept the trio cranking.
Which brings us to Attainment. After a well-deserved six-month hiatus, the group reconvened to compile a long overdue career retrospective. With the revealing title of What I Learned About Ego, Opinion, Art & Commerce, the 22-track collection was, says Robby, "A way for people to get caught up on what came before 'Iris.' We've been at this a long time and we're proud of what we've done. This was our way of acknowledging that history."
It was in the fall of 2001 that John and Robby, along with drummer Mike Malinin and producer Rob Cavallo (the man behind the boards for Dizzy Up The Girl) began assembling the elements of a new album. "Of course our success was a factor going in," asserts John. "How could it not be? We worked our asses off to get to this place, and we didn't want to disappoint ourselves or our fans. But more than that, we wanted to see where the music would take us. We'd been living in a fishbowl for three years, and it felt good to get back to basics."
"Basics" in this case included recording with an array of vintage instruments in the confines of Hollywood's legendary Capitol Records Studios. "The place had a real vibe," John continues. "I even put up some velvet drapes and a memorial bar in honor of Sinatra and all the others who had recorded there. Along with using the old equipment, it helped us keep in touch with the sound we were after. With digital technology you're always fighting against something antiseptic. We needed that edge to keep it real."
"The whole process took about four months," continues Robby, "which is about normal for us. The pressure was definitely on, but that didn't change our approach. We had an incredible team, especially Rob Cavallo, who totally understands what we're about and our engineers Allen Sides and Ken Allerdyce. In the studio, the difference between success and failure can come down to how many inches there are between microphones. We depended on them totally to make those calls."
With all the elements in place, it remained for the Goo Goo Dolls to grapple with the greatest challenge of their career - to create music that would both build on and surpass the extraordinary accomplishments that preceded it. And it's in this final category that Gutterflower represents a full-on, flat-out triumph. Simply put, the twelve tracks that comprise this potent and persuasive tour de force not only exceed every available expectation, but also create a whole new standard for the energy and emotional impact that has always been the hallmark of genuine rock & roll.
It always starts, of course, with the songs. On Gutterflower both John and Robby seemed to have taken a leap from an already impressive perch, fashioning music and lyrics into a resonant and revealing listening experience far greater than the sum of its parts. On that rarest of occurrences - an album with no throwaway tracks - it's impossible single out any one selection for special attention except to say here is a collection of songs that manages to convey universal insights in highly personal terms.
"I think, if there's a theme to these songs, it about being honest with yourself and with others, and seeking out those who will return the favor," John ventures. "Our experiences over the past three years have taught us to appreciate friendship, love and loyalty…those basic human values. When we're writing about characters we've encountered and scenes we've survived, it's that need for connection that comes through and hopefully everyone can relate to that. Otherwise, you're just talking to yourself."
The assured and accessible lyrics of Gutterflower are matched, note for note, with music that both celebrates the band's stylistic diversity and conclusively consolidates their cohesive ensemble sound. From their trademark blood-and-thunder alchemy to glorious acoustic outings to a soundscape wholly their own, the Goo Goo Dolls, on Gutterflower, have expanded their expressive range in dazzling new directions.
Next up, naturally, is an extensive touring itinerary. "This is one of my favorite times of the whole process," John reveals. "The album is finished. There's nothing more you can do, even if you wanted to. It's time to start thinking about stepping from the studio onto the stage and making that the best experience it can be. We're ready."
Thanks to Shannon- HUGE fan of Goo Goo Dolls! for submitting the biography.
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crazy for GOO | Reviewer: Amber_GGDxx | 1/13/12
I am just a 13 year old who loves these guys and they are amazing and I love music like so many others out there. there music is so different from everyone else's we used to be famous for rock but now a days it has gone and we have shit pop music like Justin Bieber! I think that we should still have this music and ban pop. they have helped me through so much and I am inspired by them. I haven't been to any of their concerts yet cos they haven't been over England I fell in love with the song iris and from then on I bought all their cds and watched their interviews and music videos.unfortunately luckily Robby is following me on twitter I nearly fainted when is saw!I am moving to America Buffalo and I am gonna be interviewing people on tv (hopefully maybe including them) and I will be writing for the celeb magazines and again I might get to meet them :D please follow me on twitter and if I make it to America and meet the Goo Goo Dolls I will get them to follow you guys. and you will be I know her she is the girl who wrote on that website and she meet them :D p.s i think John rzeznik is fucking HOT! And age has been very kind to him xx love u goo goo fans xxx
googoo = amazing... | Reviewer: michael t. | 9/27/10
goo goo dolls are so amazing.like everyone else out there, it started when i heard the "iris" song,it is sooo cool it makes me wanna shout in the air! whenever im feeling down, i would usually sit down and listen to the goo songs and before i know it, i feel better again. i hope they'll last more years...love you guys!
their song are sooo enticing!
What can I say | Reviewer: Pamela Doty | 3/31/10
What can I say, I am also a big Goo Goo Dolls fan. I have enjoyed every song/video/commentary to date. I really am goo goo eyed toward Johnny Rzeznik. I think it would be great to know him in real life.When our local radio station began playing Before its to late/Fiction. I would call in and request this song so much just so I could write down the lyrics, until I could buy the Video/Cd of "Let Love In." I can hardly wait to see what The Goo Goo Dolls will come up with next. I think it would be cool to see their new studio they are building in Buffalo, New York.
Love at first listen... | Reviewer: Just Me | 9/25/09
Like so many others out there, "Iris" was the start of my obsession. I live in Sweden, where "Iris" is basically the only Goo song they play on the radio. So I discovered the rest of their songs over youtube and various sites before buying "Gutterflower" and "Greatest Hits Vol 1".
Gutterflower surprised me at first. It was so much darker than all the other Goo songs I'd heard, but after a few listens I'd gotten used to it and loved it. "What A Scene" is amazing.
Right now I'm listening to Superstar Car Wash, which I really recommend. The album is from 1993, before they were big but after their strange songs (Like "Don't Kick My Ass With A Baseball Bat"... Strange.) On this album, John's amazing voice really shines, and even Robby is good. Some of the songs are just genius, like "Fallin' Down.
Love the Goos!
Band called Goo... | Reviewer: Fay Lyn W | 11/28/08
Goo Goo Dolls, to me, is something more than music. The albums they released are like a guide to way of life. They're not making you follow their way of life, but come on, you know you want to! lol I love Goo Goo Dolls and I hope they make music for another 15+ years!
Goo Goo Dolls Rock! | Reviewer: Stephanie | 2/8/08
I've been a huge fan of the Goo Goo Dolls for as long as I can remember... I've even converted a few friends! I own and love every album they've released and I know the words to every one of their songs! Keep up the great work, guys!
a fan... | Reviewer: Anonymous | 12/28/07
I know this sounds cliche, but 'iris' was the song that caught my ear. I had no idea it was these guys behind all the songs i've been looking around for; slide, black balloon, here is gone, big machine... but i know now!!
The lyrics rock, and the way the music and his voice complements them is just right. These guys are talented -- I found one of their older album 'Superstar Car Wash' and you can hear how their music progressed to what it is.
Goo Goo Dolls have definately opened my mind and I thank them for having music I can to relate to - also, as a guitarist it is so awesome to be able to play their music and enjoy it so much more!!
Goo Goo Dolls=LIFE | Reviewer: Samantha | 10/22/07
i am seriously like the Goo Goo Dolls #1 Fan! I have listened to them since i was like born. When my mom passed away a year ago all i did was listen to their music especially iris, slide, and black balloon. Those songs always remind me of her and whenever i listen to them i feel so close to her again. So all i can say is thanks Goo Goo Dolls, i love your music and keep doing what you do your great=]
awesome........ | Reviewer: headbanger | 7/7/07
had been completely unattachd 2 dis group..bt dis one song really attracted meh lyke crazy..n dats Iris..dis is one song full of passion n stuf n it makes meh listen 2 it more than often..nice piece of music..rock on guys..!!
Best song ever | Reviewer: Danielle | 6/20/07
Well, firstly my favorite group is Simple Plan, but Iris is definetly the best song ever...I love the lyrics, they describe me completely, and the song is pure awesomes...it always makes me feel better. ~*~RoCk On~*~
Goo Goo Dolls rock!!! | Reviewer: Vic | 5/20/07
Goo Goo Dolls are just sooo good. There is something about their songs that just make you fall in love with them. My favorites, Iris and Slide. They just know how to write a good song. What can I say, they rock!! :)
Go go Goo Goo Dolls | Reviewer: Kaede | 2/27/06
I love them so so much! Their lyrics and the melody, wow! Can't see any word.
Go Go Kick Some Butt! | Reviewer: Random Guy | 5/31/05
I got introduced to the Goo Goo Dolls with Iris...Man that song rocks. Listen to it. Like right now. I think the band have come out with some great music, Here is gone, Hey Jealousy, I'll Be all are great songs and deserve some respect. Although I am quite new to them, I have listened to about 20 songs and love them all...Great band, check them out
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